Deep Water Masses and Sediments Are Main Compartments for Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Arctic Ocean
2014 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 48, no 12, 6719-6725 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is a wealth of studies of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in surface water and biota of the Arctic Ocean. Still, there are no observation-based assessments of PCB distribution and inventories in and between the major Arctic Ocean compartments. Here, the first water column distribution of PCBs in the central Arctic Ocean basins (Nansen, Amundsen, and Makarov) is presented, demonstrating nutrient-like vertical profiles with 5-10 times higher concentrations in the intermediate and deep water masses than in surface waters. The consistent vertical profiles in all three Arctic Ocean basins likely reflect buildup of PCBs transported from the shelf seas and from dissolution and/or mineralization of settling particles. Combined with measurement data on PCBs in other Arctic Ocean compartments collected over the past decade, the total Arctic Ocean inventory of Sigma 7PCB was estimated to 182 +/- 40 t (+/- 1 standard error of the mean), with sediments (144 +/- 40 t), intermediate (5 +/- 1 t) and deep water masses (30 +/- 2 t) storing 98% of the PCBs in the Arctic Ocean. Further, we used hydrographic and carbon cycle parametrizations to assess the main pathways of PCBs into and out of the Arctic Ocean during the 20th century. River discharge appeared to be the major pathway for PCBs into the Arctic Ocean with 115 +/- 11 t, followed by ocean currents (52 +/- 17 t) and net atmospheric deposition (30 +/- 28 t). Ocean currents provided the only important pathway out of the Arctic Ocean, with an estimated cumulative flux of 22 +/- 10 t. The observation-based inventory of Sigma 7PCB of 182 +/- 40 t is consistent with the contemporary inventory based on cumulative fluxes for Sigma 7PCB of 173 +/- 36 t. Information on the concentration and distribution of PCBs in the deeper compartments of the Arctic Ocean improves our understanding of the large-scale fate of POPs in the Arctic and may also provide a means to test and improve models used to assess the fate of organic pollutants in the Arctic.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 48, no 12, 6719-6725 p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106067DOI: 10.1021/es500736qISI: 000337646000025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-106067DiVA: diva2:735662